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Football Diehards.com Interview with

Virginia Giant

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Kinda boring to start, a lot of ass kissing at the begining but he says some interesting things. Lubek will love who he's been training with.




Q: Alright....lets go back to your college days. You had a couple of very productive JC seasons at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas; you racked up 3,248 yards and 37 touchdowns and earned junior college all-American honors in 2002. You went to Auburn in 2003. There were two other backs there: Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams -- the second and fifth picks overall, respectively, in the 2005 draft. How'd that work out?


Jacobs: When I went to Auburn, they had a backfield full of horses, and they didn't have have enough grass for all of us to eat, you know?


Q: Their presence and your rather unique physical attributes -- compared to what we consider the "usual" running back -- led coaches there to try to at tight end and linebacker. How'd that go?


Jacobs: No, it didn't go to well, I wasn't having any of that.


Q: That being the case, you transfered to Southern Illinois in 2004 and ran for 922 yards and 19 touchdowns in your final year of college. In other words, up to that point in time, productive seasons were the norm when you were on the field?


Jacobs: Thats what you get when you work hard. Hard work pays off. I've never been the only back -- except in junior college and that was because of injury. So I have been very productive when the ball has been in my hands even though I've never been the only back on my team.


Q: That dates back to high school, no? You scored 18 touchdown and caught three passes for 50 yards and a score during your junior season.


Jacobs: And I rushed for about 3,400 yards my senior year...



Q: You also returned eight kicks for touchdowns.


Jacobs: I was a very productive player in high school. Of course, everybody in the [NFL] was productive in the past.


Q: Maybe so. But there's an old cliche most often thrown around in coaching circles that goes something like this: There are two things you can't coach; size and speed. I think it's safe to say, Brandon Jacobs rolls out of bed every morning with more of both than just about anybody else in the locker room, yes?


Jacobs: I've always been one of the biggest kids and one of the fastest kids... It's fun.


Q: Any truth to the rumors you've been times as low as 4.39?


Jacobs: Yes. I've been timed at 4.3 before.


Q: But you're not just fast, you're quick. Your speed in the "takeoff" at the 2005 NFL Scouting Combine, the first 10 yards of the 40-yard dash, was 1.55 seconds. It was the second fastest "takeoff" at the combine, second only to 1.53 registered by Kansas State RB Darren Sproles, who is 5-6 185 pounds.


Jacobs: Yes. That drill went really well, but I ran a terrible 40 at the combine. I just relaxed too much, and I ran a bad time.


Q Do you think teams put too much emphasis on that single combine workout?



Jacobs: Yes, they really put too much emphasis on it. It can make guys crazy....Say you ran a terrible (40) time. You think its the end of the world because all people ever talk about is the time you ran at the combine. Thats what gets you drafted.


But the combine is overrated. It really doesn't define you as a player.


You can run a terrible 40 at the combine and then go to the probowl your first year. Think back to (Chargers linebacker) Shawn Merriman. His 40 times were good enough, but he's a guy who makes things happen no matter what kind of 40 times he runs. an diego, they can count on him to be productive and make things happen. He makes plays.


Q Did you think you would be drafted higher, or were you happy going when you went (in the fourth round of the 2005 draft)?


Jacobs: I thought I would go a little higher....As high as the second round maybe. Teams were telling me that's what they wanted to do. Philadelphia made it seem like, because I was still on the board, that was big news. That made me believe I'd go in the second round.


Q: Did that put a little chip on your shoulder?


Jacobs: A little bit maybe. But I was just blessed to go where I went. Now, I just have to prove to everybody that I can play. It's not so much the way you get drafted, it's how you finish.


Thats my goal, to go and finish the best way I can.


Q: No doubt about that. Now let me ask you: do you set individual goals or do you have any individual goals you'd like to share for the upcoming season?


Jacobs: I have individual goals, but I keep them to myself.


Q: Good enough... You've earned an interesting series of nicknames. At coffeyville, it was "Chocolate Thunder." At Auburn it was "H2." Both pretty cool. But I still like the one Tiki Barber tagged you with during your first training camp: "The Prototype."


To me, thats the most fitting. You certainly take things to a new level-- at least in size and speed -- at your position. How big of an advantage is that size?


Jacobs: Well, it's a big advantage. When I make contact with someone, it doesn't matter who it is. I'm going to get two or three extra yards. Those extra yards are very important to your offense.


Because of my size and speed, defenders try to take an easier approach. They might let me run by them and try to grab me in a way that makes less contact -- or at least most of the contact. When that happens, I end up running past them and stretching away from them.


That can be fun, too, when a guy underestimates your speed because you're big.


Q: Despite the size/speed edge, the NFL is a whole new ball game. Tell me what first struck you that first summer. What stood out during your first training camp? layers? Coaches? Media coverage?


Jacobs: Well, the first thing -- even before I got on the field -- was the playbook and the way things were called, the verbiage and formations. That was hard.


But I've mastered that now; it's just like any other playbook.


Q: What kind of relationship did you have with Tiki Barber when you first arrived?


Jacobs: Positive rigth from the jump. He never looked down on me; he always treated me as a brother. He took care of me. I must say, Tiki Barber has been an asset.


Q: Looking back at your rookie season, I never saw much effort to groom you as a future starter. You only carried the ball 38 times -- albeit with seven touchdown. Would you have prefered more touches? Or do you feel like you progressed as needed on the practice field enough?


Jacobs: To be honest with you, I wasn't ready to get out there and play. I wasn't ready to get out there and get 10, 12 carries a game my rookie year. I wasn't really ready, and I would tell that to anybody.


I was only ready to do what they had me doing. You master those plays, you know?


But at practice, I worked hard. Then I spent my offseason -- after my rookie year -- trying to learn how to get better. And it worked out for me. I ended up getting 10, 12 carries in some games; I ended up being very productive and helping my teamout. This year, I'm looking to take it a step further.


Q: I understand you spent considerable time that offseason studying film of Eddie George -- a bigger, very productive back.


Jacobs: I watched him and saw some things he did when he played at Tennessee. He did a lot of great things, being a big back. He made a major impact...When Tennessee needed something donw, they put the ball in his hands. He was part of the reason for their Super-Bowl trip and their success while he was there.


Q: Tiki first hinted at a possible retirement last July -- in fact, he told reporters after the first day of camp that he'd consider retiring after the season if the right opportunity came along. How serious did you take those comments?


Jacobs: That plan -- Tiki leaving -- wasn't news to me. It wasn't news to any of the (Giants) running backs.


Q: Then we jump ahead to last October and all of a sudden Barber "pretty much made up his mind" about retirement and that "nothing" that would change his mind. Any doubts then?


Jacobs: Not at all.


Q: Now, all that drew some pretty harch criticism -- Michael Irvin and Tom Jackson come to mind. Their contention was the imminent retirement would be a season-long distraction. How did you see it?


Jacobs: ot at all. Not at all. It didn't bother anybody on the team. People said a lot of things that really weren't even relevant to the whole situation. When he announced his retirement, that didn't put us under any pressure to perform well because he was leaving.


Yes, we wanted to, but we just went out there and played our game.


Half o 'em went the way we wanted; the other half didn't. You can't blame Tiki for what happened last season.


Q: How accurately to do you believe the media portrays you and your teammates? Do you get a fair show?


Jacobs: No, they don't give you a fair shot, the media in New York, they really don't. They do what they want to do. There are a lot of quotes that they put in there that guys didn't say. Its tough. The New York media is very tough, and you've got to know how to deal with it.


Thats something I've learned from being here. The New York media will eat you alive if you let it.


Q: One of the bigger stories this ofseason came in late February, when new GM Jerry Reese told reporters at the combine that he might be interested in Willis McGahee. How did you hear about that and what did you think when you heard it?


Jacobs: t wasn't a problem. I have a lot of confidence in myself. I know what I can do, and I know the offense. They could have brought Willis in here and he would have been a second string running back. I'm not giving my job up to anybody.


I'm not saying I'm better than Willis -- ror anybody thats out there. But this is my job and my place. I was number 2 when Tiki was here; now he's gone and that bumps me up.


Q: The Giants did make an addition, trading for Ruben Droughns. Your initial reaction?


Jacobs: I was told at some point during the free agent period that they were looking at getting me a backup. So that didn't surprise me. The Giants have a lot of confidence in me, and they know I can get the job done.


Q: According to Reese, you'll get 20 carries a game with Droughns getting 15. Does that sound about right to you? Can you see that changing?


Jacobs: No, nothing like that's going to change. You can't talk to fast in this league because of injuries, but...


Q: I do understand you've been working pretty hard to handle the featured role. You've been working with Tiki Barber's personal trainer?


Jacobs: Yes. Joe Carini. He's a great man. I see why Tiki was able to acomplish what he did. With Joe, he's been working on my strenght. I've been running with people on my back and breaking tackles....Joe's a great trainer who likes what he does.


Q: How Larry Johnson been working with him, too?


Jacobs: Yes. Larry Johnson worked with him, too.


Q: Well, you'll be working under a new coordinator this year; Kevin Gilbride replaces Tom Hufnagel. What kind of diiferences do you expect?


Jacobs: There are a lot of differences, a lot of things that we are changing in the passing game. A lot of the rest is the same stuff, but the verbiage is a little different. I think coach Gilbride will be great. He's not a rookie at calling plays. He has done it before. This is just another opportunity he gets to do it.


Q: Generally speaking, what percent of an NFL teams team's success is due to talent and what percent should be attributed to coaching/system?


Jacobs: Well, thats a hard question.....You can have a lot of talent and you can be like Washington, They had everything and every position they wanted last year, and they didn't get it donw.


Now I don't know if it was the system that they were running or the coaches. I have no clue what it was, but they had a whole bunch of talent and sometimes having a bunch of talent on your team may not be the best thing.


New England, when they won all those Super Bowls, they had one or two main guys and the rest were role players who took what they got. Would you consider that coaching? I wouldn't. It was just that they had it in their hearts to win.


You just never know what percentage is the coaches and what percentage is in the players.


Q: Give me your impression on om Coughlin. How do you like playing for him?


Jacobs: I like laying for coach Coughlin. He's a straigh up guy. I like playing for him; a lot of guys on the team like playing for him. He's not as bad as people make him seem. He respects you, you respect him... He does have his little rules but....


Q: They're consistant, they apply to everybody?


Jacobs: Exactly. They apply to everyone. Some people may not feel that way, but I think they're consistant and we should all be responsible as grown men, dealing with them. Thats how I feel about it.


Q: Yeah, it seems like it'd be a nice to work at a place where you knew where you stood and seems there's never really any doubt about where you stand with him. till, that gets spun as more of a negative than a positive, no?


Jacobs: Yes, people make it seem like he's the scum of the earth, but he's not. He's a great coach, a great guy....A great family man. He's a good coach.


Q: And he does a lot of good stuff off the field.


Jacobs: Yes, he does. He has the Jay Fund he does every year for the kids and their families that he helps. He's really not the devil people may think.


Now he can be....And I can be and you can be, too. hats just the way it is.


Q: Fair enough. You're playing a number of 3-4 teams this year. Droughns believes the aggressive nature of that scheme works in your favor? Do you agree?


Jacobs: I totally agree with him. The 3-4 defense is totally a runable defense.


Q: You're looking forward to it then?


Jacobs: I'm looking forward to it.


Q: All right....Let's talk about some of your teammates. I'd like you to give me your general impressions. Let's start with Eli Manning:


Jacobs: He's a very soft-spoken guy. He's a great quarterback. He's just learning and trying to get better. He has a lot of talent, and I think he's gonna get it together, and we're gonna be alright this year.


Q: And how about his top receivers -- Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey. Both draw a lot of attention, not all of it positive. Tell me about them and what it's like working with them?


Jacobs: Working with them is great....


Q: How about their preference for working out in Miami during the offseason?


Jacobs: It would've been great to have those guys here, but they have their own way. Shockey worked out in Miami all this offseason, and at our last mini-camp, he looked the best he's ever looked in his career.


Plax is good, too.


Every year, those guys they do their thing in Miami. You know they're going to train hard and make themselves better on their own time. Shockey came back in great shape. Plax is in great shape.


Q: They both tend to be very open with the media -- some would say too open. What say you?


Jacobs: There's some stuff that doesn't need to be said, but everybody is different. I think watching them, I've learned some of the things that are best unsaid.


Q: Are they -- or more specifically their antics -- ever a distraction? Or do you guys just go out and do your job and let it roll of your back?


Jacobs: We go out and do our job and let it roll off our back. Those kinds of things are irrelevant on the field.


Q: Tell me what Amani Toomer brings -- not so much on the field, but in the locker room.


Jacobs: "Tooms" is not an uppity guy. He's not going to get after you and yell at you. He's a great guy first, and a great receiver second. He's going to tell you calmly what you need to know. He's helping the rookie receivers now and trying to et those guys right.


I think Toomer is a great asset to our offense. He was a great asset to our offense last year; he caught a lot of key passes when we needed it. I think he's a very big part of our offense. I think when we lost him, that's when our offense started coming up short.



Q: Is Sinorice Moss ready to pick up the pace?


Jacobs: Yes. He's healthy; he's looking good running; he's catching passes; he's doing everything he needs to do to make himself better. He's working out really hard. I think Moss is ready to get out there and show people he can play.


Q: What offenseve teammate is going to exceed expectations this season?


Jacobs: I think Plax is going to have a very good year this year. I this is his year to do his thing. Shockey is going to do his thing and of course I'm going to do mine....But I think this is going to be a very big year for Plax.


Q: What is your overall perception of fantasy Football? Do you hear about that a fair amount?


Jacobs: I hear about fantasy Football, I couldn't tell you how it's played, all I hear people tell me is that " picked you up on my fantasy league. I got you." Thats all i ever hear about it, all the time.


Q: What do you make of all that?


Jacobs: I got to believe it's expanding the fan base. When you realize a lot of these guys are paying money to get in on it, that makes me feel good that they're so serious about it.


Q: All right.... Last question. You became a father in February. Your son, Brayden Kenneth Jacobs, was big: Nine pounds, four ounces heavy and 22 1/4 inches long with 3 1/4 inch feet. What are the chances I'll be interviewing him in 20 years?


Jacobs: Well, in 20 years I would really want him to be on a baseball field.


Q: Really?


Jacobs: My wife thinks baseball is boring, and she hates watching it. But she would say that if our son was out there. Actually, I don't care to watch it either, but.....When our son is out there hitting home runs and stealing bases, he'll be something to watch.

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